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The Stargazey (Richard Jury #15)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,435 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
November. in a bleak month, a bleak Richard Jury takes an aimless ride on one of London's icons--the old double-decker bus, a # 14 traveling the Fulham Road. His attention is caught by a woman "with hair so gossamer-pale you could see the moon through it," wearing a fur coat, boarding his bus in front of a pub called the Stargazey. Her behavior intrigues him, as she leaves ...more
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published November 5th 1998 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Sherry Chandler
Dec 27, 2007 Sherry Chandler rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Although they operate on the level of mystery, all Martha Grimes novels are also parodies. This one goes after noir -- cherchez la blonde in sable -- with a little bit of Nick and Nora Charles thrown in. Part Hitchcock, part Dashiell Hammett. Grimes is always more fun when she's having fun.
K.B. Hallman
As always, for me, Melrose outshines all the other characters.
Feb 10, 2011 Johnny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery

While I am a fan of the Richard Jury series, I have to confess that this mystery was the most improbable and disjointed effort of the series. While I wasn’t surprised as to the murderer, I was briefly taken aback by the identity of the same. I feel like this story depended far too much on capriciously handled international intrigue without the kind of emotional involvement I’m used to seeing in either Melrose Plant or Richard Jury. In this episode, it seems like Jury manipulates Melrose like a p
Jul 10, 2014 Tasula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martha Grimes always comes out with a thoughtful mystery, and perambulates around the core mystery with vignettes of her favorite characters from Northants and London's Scotland Yard. If you read her books without a break between them, you might get tired of the descriptions of Wiggins' hypochondria, Carole Anne's charm, or Cyril the cat's ongoing war with Racer (Supt Jury's boss at Scotland Yard), but I guess for new readers, some of the descriptions are necessary. And some of the little side s ...more
Jury sees a woman in a sable coat on the bus. When she gets off the bus and walks a ways, then gets back on the bus, then gets off again, he follows her to the entrance to a public garden. The next day a woman is found dead in the garden wearing a sable coat. Is it the same woman? Then the coat on the dead woman is linked to a famous old movie star and the family of an art dealer. The case keeps Jury and his friend Plant puzzled. Another twisty English plot.
I didn't like this one as much as I h
Kt Thames
Mar 18, 2013 Kt Thames rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
For once I was actually able to figure out "who did it" before it was revealed at the end. I thoroughly enjoy this series and highly recommend it, but the "mystery" in the book was a little more transparent than most. And while I adore Melrose Plant, Marshall Trueblood, Aunt Agatha and others, their escapades in this novel were far more tame than normal.
Well into Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series, one finds the quality of each individual book sometimes a bit hit or miss. This one was definitely a hit for me. I enjoyed it quite a lot, even though I suspected pretty early on who the culprit(s) was(were). Or maybe it was because I figured it out pretty early and was able to watch Jury and his friend Melrose Plant struggle to the same conclusion.

It's a somewhat complicated plot with definite noir tendencies. It involves art forgery and theft, the
Jun 29, 2009 Audrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I'm losing my taste for Martha Grimes. I get tired of her characters' self-conscious approach to everything--they're always feeling complicated things. Why is Jury so lame with women? Why is Melrose always sliding so easily into unlikely situations (and he's lame with women too)? These two characters have become very unnatural. I don't think they bear much resemblance to real men. I also thought this book was slow to get started and then the mystery itself was a little unconnected. I thi ...more
Note: Although this is Book 15 in the series, it works fine as a stand alone.

The book opens on a cold night with an assassin in waiting. She has a been of a clean up to do as someone saw something they weren’t suppose to while she was on a job. From this brief prologue, we jump into Richard Jury’s life, superintendent with Scotland Yard. It’s a boring Saturday, at least for Jury. He has few friends, and most of them are police such as he. So he finds himself riding a bus just to be out of the ap
Apr 30, 2016 Sally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book in the Richard Jury series that I read and it took some getting used to since the characters and their relationships seem to have been well established but not well described here. On the other hand, once I got into it, the mystery was quite good. Jury sees a beautiful blonde on a double decker bus who gets off and walks into a garden where her dead body is later found. Jury thinks it's not the same woman and spends several hundred pages trying to prove it. The death is c ...more
Lin Wollen
Jul 25, 2013 Lin Wollen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martha Grimes is another really, really good mystery author. Her characters live their lives inside your brain. You care about the murder ( it's always murder!) but you care more about the characters.
Apr 22, 2011 Marge rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifteenth book in the Richard Jury series and another clever story that adds another layer to the friendship between Jury and Melrose Plant.
Marian H.
May 10, 2012 Marian H. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Made me want to read all the other Richard Jury books - delightful balance of humor, mystery and great characters.
Great writing with a twist that always make you think!
Dave Holcomb
Oct 02, 2014 Dave Holcomb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, a fun read. This time the culprit is pretty clearly revealed (unusual for a Grimes mystery), although retribution is uncertain. The supporting cast in this book, particularly Melrose Plant, plays a greater role than the detective, which suited me just fine. Murder and art, Russian aristocrats and the inimitable Cripps family are all here.

One word of warning: "The Stargazey" is well worth a read, but don't start here: this book falls about halfway through the Grimes oeuvre, and you'll
Sandra Strange
This series contains really good British mysteries, and features a host of repeating characters, Jury, a Scotland Yard chief inspector (so goes all over England and other places when asked), along with his rich aristocratic friend Melrose Plant, with the people (many eccentric, many real characters) surrounding both--Plant in his Northamptonshire estate and the small towns surrounding him, and Jury at his London apartment and with all the helpers and local police officials that surround him, whe ...more
Jill Hutchinson
I like to read Martha Grimes stories for the characters surrounding Melrose Plant (Lord Ardrey) small village could have that many eccentric people and sometimes they can be tiresome. But for the most part, I find them rather delightful. Richard Jury from Scotland Yard, who is Melrose's best friend gets him involved in one more case, this one involving hired assassins, stolen art, murder, and mistaken identity. As this series proceeds, it is Melrose who becomes the central character and d ...more
Jun 22, 2016 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
this was a good one - art forgery, an international! All in London and lot's of Plant and Jury. It hit me reading this one, just how melancholy Jury is. In many ways he is a person one feels sad for.

In any case this was a good mystery.
Jul 14, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another Richard Jury novel. Interesting and a page-turner. I like books where I can get a general idea of what's going on and "whodunnit," but you don't know for sure and a lot of details aren't revealed to the very end. In this one, I knew there was something fishy about a certain character but couldn't put my finger on it until Jury himself figured it out. This one has to do with the art world. As always, Jury's sidekicks such as Melrose Plant, Marshall Trueblood and Wiggins are well-developed ...more
Jan 15, 2015 Stacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing is wonderful but there are too many coincidences. I get the feeling that the author has situations planned and has to force the outcome with a bit of string and bubble gum to hold it all together
Because of the characters I keep reading another "Richard Jury Mystery". I think these stories should be called the "Melrose Plant Mysteries". Does Richard Jury really do anything but become infatuated with women and play the straight man for Sgt. Wiggens? It seems Melrose does all of the heavy lifting. It is hard to believe that Melrose can even tolerate the Cripps family, but he does. Oddly they become endearing.

With each book I got to know the cast more, and eventually could laugh when their
Donna Mcnab
Jan 19, 2016 Donna Mcnab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hitman or woman, strange paintings in an art gallery, a beautiful woman in a long sable coat, and a body found in the herb garden all add up to one of Martha Grimes' wonderfully whimsical books.
3.75 stars - I liked this, even though I skipped many books in the series. Interesting mystery, with hints/characters/settings from earlier stories, so that was fun. Ms. Grimes writes very well, has good characters and good mysteries.
Kristi Lamont
Most satisfying in many ways. Would've rated it a 4 were I not getting so annoyed with the conceit of Jury continually getting duped by his potential love interests.
Jul 10, 2011 Miranda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after traveling to the UK and loved it. Martha Grimes is not from London,but she describes the city well enough that if you were just there, you recognize landmarks, street names etc. This mystery is great, there are tons of twists and turns in it that keep you guessing until the very end. I love British Mysteries and have recently discovered Martha Grimes after reading The Man with a Load of Michief prior sometime last year. I loved how that novel was sets in British pubs and w ...more
Feb 21, 2015 Georgene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Richard Jury and Melrose Plant enter the art world in a round-about way and find that the path is not an easy one. Well written and enjoyable.
Lady Studland
Feb 20, 2016 Lady Studland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio of this book, forgetting that I had actually read it before. I didn't remember much about it though so I kept listening. I've read a lot of Martha Grimes in the past but I'd forgotten how wonderful her writing was. Her characters (Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard and his friend Melrose Plant, a peer who gave up all his titles) are believable and likeable. Grimes writes with skill, blending wit and humor with the drama of the mystery.
Jan 21, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Although this is the 15th book in the Richard Jury series, it is the first one that I have read. For a murder mystery, it is a very calm, understated story but made a very good beach read.
Jun 24, 2015 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
New to the series, I jumped in with both feet. What a delight. I'm going back to the first one in this series!
Jan 17, 2015 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've not read any of Martha Grimes books before. According to the reviews here, this was not one if her best. But I have to say, I enjoyed it. Wouldn't mind reading another in the future.
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Martha Grimes is an American author of detective fiction.

She was born May 2 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to D.W., a city solicitor, and to June, who owned the Mountain Lake Hotel in Western Maryland where Martha and her brother spent much of their childhood. Grimes earned her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Maryland. She has taught at the University of Iowa, Frostburg State University, and Montg
More about Martha Grimes...

Other Books in the Series

Richard Jury (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • The Man With a Load of Mischief (Richard Jury, #1)
  • The Old Fox Deceiv'd (Richard Jury, #2)
  • The Anodyne Necklace (Richard Jury, #3)
  • The Dirty Duck (Richard Jury, #4)
  • Jerusalem Inn (Richard Jury, #5)
  • Help the Poor Struggler (Richard Jury #6)
  • The Deer Leap (Richard Jury #7)
  • I Am the Only Running Footman (Richard Jury, #8)
  • The Five Bells and Bladebone (Richard Jury, #9)
  • The Old Silent (Richard Jury, #10)

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